Do Healthy Kids Need Supplements?

Ideally, kids should get their vitamins from a balanced, healthy diet that includes:

  • milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt (preferably low-fat products for kids over age 3)
  • plenty of fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables (yes, that means the broccoli and spinach your child abhors)
  • protein like chicken, fish, meat, and eggs
  • whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice


Given the reality of time-crunched parents, those well-rounded, home-cooked meals aren't always possible. That's why pediatricians may recommend a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement for :

  • kids who aren't eating regular, well-balanced meals made from fresh, whole foods
  • finicky eaters who simply aren't eating enough
  • kids with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or digestive problems, especially if they're taking medications (be sure to talk with your child's doctor first before starting a supplement if your child is on medication)
  • particularly active kids who play physically demanding sports
  • kids eating a lot of fast foods, convenience foods, and processed foods
  • kids on a vegetarian diet (they may need an iron supplement), a dairy-free diet (they may need a calcium supplement), or other restricted diet
  • kids who drink a lot of carbonated sodas, which can leach vitamins and minerals from their bodies

Key Vitamins and Minerals for Kids

In the alphabet soup of vitamins and minerals, a few stand out as critical for growing kids.

Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; and healthy skin, eyes, and immune responses. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams, and squash. Vitamin Bs. The family of B vitamins -- B2, B3, B6, and B12 -- aid metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and soybeans. Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin. Good sources include citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli. Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include milk, cheese, and yogurt (especially fortified dairy products), egg yolks, and fish oil .Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows. Good sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice. Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Good sources include beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this website is intended as, or should be construed as, medical advice. Consumers should consult with their own health care practitioners for individual, medical recommendations. The information in this website concerns dietary supplements, over-the-counter products that are not drugs. Our dietary supplement products are not intended for use as a means to cure, treat, prevent, diagnose, or mitigate any disease or other medical or abnormal condition.